|Or is it?|
|George's grave in the Malta Ridge Cemetery. If you hurry you can follow my footprints to it.|
|I cannot stress how fun it is to use a microfilm reader. Being serious!|
|Who really is this handsome couple? Good question. Perhaps YOU will find the answer!|
Props to Dave's work. He asked lots of good questions to lots of the right people. That's called research. Bask in its goodness.
Then here for information on George's very interesting life:
These links are worth reading as they expand on most of the topics mentioned here plus others. If you have any interesting in truth digging please read them and review his resources.
|Evidence suggests this is indeed George. The woman's identity is unconfirmed.|
1. The story of the potato chip was not a subject of wide reporting until several years after it became popular. Even local surviving Saratogians reported not hearing about the Who and When of the chip until their adult years as this 1983 folklore research piece found.
2. The basic recipe for potato chips had been around before 1853. Cutting up potatoes, cooking them in oil or fat, and then salting them was NOT a new idea. Dave and others have found references in articles and cook books. Perhaps it was a local (but not exclusive) variation of the recipe that we call a chip today. That is possible.
3. As I showed above, George's sister took credit for the invention. George never did in any resource I have found. What does this mean to me? Not sure. Taken at face value, George did NOT invent the chip as he never disputed her claim. I want facts I can deposit in the bank. Consider this and ask yourself what YOU make of it and what questions you want answered.
|Curiouser and Curiouser|
4. George owned a popular, well liked business in a town that the famous and wealthy vacationed in. He, at the very least, was a powerful part of popularizing the chip. By all accounts the food he served was topnotch. The rich and poor enjoyed his food. When the socialites of New York City returned home to regale their peers with stories from The Spa, the most excellent products of his kitchen were recommended.
Wait, what? So, here we stand. We have the story of George and the disgruntled customer. We have deeper dives into the story and the lack of any currently known evidence supporting said story. We know the chip gained popularity amongst socialites and commoners alike in the mid to late 1800's in the Northeast. We know it is a common theme to link Saratoga to this popularity. We know George and Kate are part of this timeline somehow. And that's about it until more facts are found or pieced together. The story of the potato chip is a fun example of the contrast between a popular telling and currently known (keyword: currently) facts. We actually have a hazy veil surrounding the birth of the chip. Did George invent it? In the strictest sense of the word: No. Did Kate? Maybe. The cooking method was not new, remember. However, it is possible their establishment via Kate had a popular, localized variation. Popular city + Famous patrons + Favorite local eating hole + Word of Mouth = Inventor of the Potato chip. That's my theory. Not much of a climax, I know. Very frustrating for me too after all the effort I invested. Lots of huff and puff with no real satisfaction. That's history sometimes. Such a delicious tease! I know George's name will keep being thrown around but I hope at least YOU will know the story is much more than a graphic or meme shared without thought or care. YOU might be the person who finds the missing evidence. There's a lot to still explore. For example, many sources list the July 27th, 1914 issue of the Saratogian newspaper as holding an obituary for George that mentions the potato chip. BUT DAMNED IF I CAN FIND IT! I poured over this date and the two before and after it. If you find it, let me know.
Any place I can have my hair done, buy an imported bird AND get an electric massage is swell in my book. I could really go for an electric massage right now, in fact. Follow it up with a big bag of chips.
That spells history no matter how you slice it.